Jump to content


participating member
  • Posts

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Everything posted by smallworld

  1. My father stayed at a boarding house while going to university (this is in Edmonton in the 60s). The lady who ran the place was Ukrainian and very kind, she often made sandwhiches for the young men who stayed there. My dad appreciated them, but was never able to eat them- they were lard sandwhiches! That's right, just a few slices of bread with a generous filling of lard. Makes me feel sick just thinking about it...
  2. smallworld


    I love Okinawan food, but I've only spent a few days there- haven't tried much. Rafuti is amazing! I couldn't get enough of it, either on it's own or topping a bowl of 'Okinawa soba'. 'Souki soba' is nice too, but more work (I don't know what cut of pork it is, but it has lots of bones). I actually like goya, but it can be too bitter depending on how it's prepared. If it has gone through all or some of the preparations designed to remove the bitterness- salt rubbing, soaking in water, parboiling in water or dashi- it can be good. Goya champuru is my favourite. I loved the fruit and drinks too- 'sanpincha' is a mix of jasmine and green tea- with so many kinds of bottled tea sold in mainland Japan, I wonder why sanpincha hasn't caught on yet? And there was this juice made from a small green citrus fruit- can't remember what it was called but it was really refreshing. Oh yeah, another thing I've forgotten- this seaweed that looks like tiny bunches of grapes. That was good stuff! I am now searching for champuru recipes for tonight's dinner...
  3. My school lunches were fairly dull and (comparitively) healthy- just a sandwhich, vegetable sticks and fruit. Except after Halloween when there was surplus candy. I was always jealous of the kids who got chips and candy everyday- especially the ones who got packs of Jello. I'm not talking about already made Jello- I mean just the packs of powder. There were kids who would dip their licked fingers in the powder and suck! At the time I thought that was so cool, but now I realize how nasty it is- I wonder what their parents were thinking! Did I just go to a weird school, or does anyone else remember this?
  4. Margaret, My furikake doesn't list MSG, but it does list extract of kelp, which is natually high in MSG. It lists lots of other stuff like flavourings, colourings, fragrance, preservatives, oil, sweetners, eggshell, destrin, salt, flour, and many more. Like Torakris, I can't understand most of it, and I'm not saying that all of the ingredients are necessarily bad. I just prefer simpler, fresher and more natural things to go on my rice. Except for when I really want the crunch that only furikake delivers- a few occasional sprinkles can't hurt! Those labels of yours that only list a few main ingredients sound really suspicious. I remember when I was in Canada comparing the pasted-on English label the original Japanese label, and boy did they leave lots of stuff out! I don't know if this was just laziness on the part of the manufacturer or importer (it must be hard to translate all that stuff) or deliberate sneakiness. I suspect the latter.
  5. smallworld

    Popcorn at home

    Wow, great to see so many popcorn lovers! Thanks for the info about butter. I actually knew that butter can't be heated enough to make popcorn, but mixing it with oil seemed to be working. I guess not- now I know why the popcorn was so chewy! Last night we tried it the normal way with just salt and canola oil, using the 3 kernel test. After the corn was popped, we opened the top and poured a small amount of butter in, while still turning the handle, then a bit of parmesan. Excellent! Adding the butter while the popcorn is being turned really ensures an even coating. (This is a bit tricky and requires two people, which shouldn't be a problem- as much as I love popcorn, I can't imagine eating it alone- it's a social food!) Johnjohn, it does sound like you're burning your oil. Don't heat the oil for too long before adding the kernels- try the three kernel test and add the rest as soon as the first three pop. And make sure your maker is clean- you don't have to wash it with soap and water after every use, but you should at least wipe it and remove any solid bits that will burn. I just bunch up a sheet of paper towel and hold with long cooking chopsticks (long tongs will do, as will your hand if you don't mind getting greasy!) and rub the inside of the pot, then turn it upside down and shake out any bits. Also, if your oil burns on the second batch, try Jim Dixon's tip- cool the pot down by placing it in cold water before starting the second batch. Some of the flavourings mentioned sound interesting, but don't the liquid ones (like hot sauce or soy sauce) make the popcorn soggy? One neat thing I've seen in Japan is a popcorn dip- a little soysauce and shichimi (seven-spice mix) is mixed with mayonnaise and the popcorn is dipped before eating. I don't like mayonnaise so I've never tried it, but it sounds interesting. Actually, even if I did like mayonnaise I wouldn't do this- I eat popcorn by the HANDFULL, and can't imagine having the patience to dip each piece of popcorn, one by one...
  6. Thanks! I'll be checking both out soon.
  7. smallworld

    Popcorn at home

    Miss J, it's the coolest thing! The handle is attached to this blad at the bottom of the pot; turning the handle causes the blade to turn, which ensures that the popcorn kernels are always on the move. It pops every single kernel, every time! (Wow, I sound like I'm trying to sell these things!) Here's a pic: http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detai...s#more-pictures
  8. I used to be totally addicted to furikake, until I read the ingredient label. There's so much junk in there! Ugh. We still keep about one pack (either tarako or ajidouraku) and use it very occasionally, but it's not something I want to eat regularly. Which is good, since I'm trying to cut down on the amount of rice I eat, and with furikake I can easily eat two or three bowls!
  9. Another mushi-pan lover here! Are those mixes easy to use? Can you control the amount of sugar, or is everything already mixed? I'd love to try steaming my own sometime. I've never heard of yuzu-cha, but it sounds nice- both as a tea and in mushi-pan!
  10. smallworld

    Popcorn at home

    Last Christmas I bought my husband a popcorn maker (the gift that keeps on giving). You know, one of those 'old fashioned' ones with the handle that you turn. Anyone else have one and love it? We've noticed that when we make two batches (actually, we ALWAYS make two!), the first one makes popcorn that is a little soft and kind of chewy- it almost seems stale. The second batch is always crispy and light, the way it should be. What's going on? Does it have to do with heat- the pot might be hotter the second time? Moisture- there might be more or less moisture the second time? Sometimes we make the second batch right away, sometimes an hour or so later, but it's always better the second time. After a bit of experimenting, we found that popping with a small amount of oil and butter (equal amounts) tastes good and doesn't require any butter to be drizzled on after. Our favourite flavour is cheese curry- may sound weird but it's so good! We add a bit of salt about a quarter teaspoon of curry powder to the oil, then sprinkle parmesan cheese over the finished popcorn. Anyone else have any flavouring ideas (we live in Japan so we can't buy those flavoured powders I've seen back home)?
  11. My husband and I love matcha and enjoy drinking it at home. We call it 'Japanese capuccino', since the bitterness and frothiness are similar. We always eat sweets at the same time, and the cloying sweetness of Japanese sweets balances well with the bitterness of the tea. It seems really fancy and special when we drink it, but it's easier to prepare than other fancy drinks like hot chocolate or capuccino. The powder can be mixed with salt and eaten with tempura or other deep fried foods- just serve it in a little dish and dip before eating. I also make a very simple Japanese desert with sweet potato, it's really good sprinkled with a bit of matcha mixed with icing sugar. I've tried using this matcha/icing sugar mix with other sweets, like pancakes, and it's good!
  12. I saw a trick on TV about avoiding the itchiness when grating mountain yam. Just freeze it! It doesn't destroy the texture, and frozen yam has an added bonus of not turning brown after grating, even if left for hours. I tried it and it works- just keep it in the freezer whole with the peel still on, when you need it peel the amount you need and grate. No itchiness. But there is one major drawback- it gets rock-hard and takes forever to grate. I don't have arms of steel so I've given this up. But stronger people might have no problems! So these days I wrap it it two layers of paper towel (prevents slipping) and don't handle the scraps with my bare hands. Seems to work OK. About the viagra- I've heard the same thing about mountain yam and any other of the slimy foods (like okra and natto). Then again I've heard the same thing about plenty of other foods- garlic, unagi, oysters etc. Anyone ever, um, tested these out?
  13. I love tsukune. One of our local shops makes theirs with a bit of yuzu peel and grills them till they're slightly crispy on the outside and soft and juicy inside. Amazing. I'm a sauce gal myself, but certain kinds of yakitori are better with salt. Some of the more upscale places have fancy combos like sasami with mentaiko wrapped in shiso- delicious and definately better with salt. Also I've noticed that a lot of places are now selling 'buta-toro' (which is just a fancy new name for regular old pork belly, isn't it?), which is sooooooo good. Salt for sure!
  14. Torakris, I agree with you about the unagi liver. Simmered in soup it is nice, but otherwise too bitter. I'm not a big fan of innards of any variety, but I've found that the taste of them varies a lot depending on freshness and preperation. Especially so with unagi and ankou liver- they can be yummy if they're prepared right. Shiokara is another one that I normally don't like, but I once tried some that was good. It had lots of wasabi, which kind of cancelled out the rotten flavour. Uni I can't eat raw, but if it's simmered and strongly flavoured I like it. The only two truly revolting things I've had were kusaya and a whole grilled sparrow. I still shudder when I think about both...
  15. Another Costco fan in Japan here! I tried the apple pie back in Canada and loved it, but I've never bought it in Japan- it's just way too big for two people. So my question: Can it be frozen? Please say yes!
  • Create New...